By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger admits that "unusual mistakes" cost his team a winnable game against Fulham on Monday.

Arsenal made up ground on their top-four rivals with seven points from their first three festive fixtures but they dropped down to fifth in the Premier League after letting a 1-0 goal slip at Craven Cottage.

Johan Djourou's dismissal 13 minutes from time and two late goals handed victory to Fulham and Wenger believes his players could have handled the situation better.

"I felt when we were down to 10 men we became too nervous and panicked a little bit in some situations where there was no reason to," he told Arsenal Player.

"In the end we got caught on unusual mistakes for us and you are always highly disappointed when you have produced the needed performance. We led 1-0 after 84 minutes and then lost the game. Of course when you are a team like Arsenal, you cannot be happy with that."

The festive period spawned plenty of shock results with all of the top six dropping points. For Wenger, that just made the Fulham defeat all the more frustrating.

"If we had lost the game and deserved it completely, you could say 'OK'," he said. "But that was a game that was winnable for us.

"Man United lost at Newcastle on Wednesday night and it was quite a logical score. Then you could say 'OK you had a bad day, it can happen to anybody in the league'. But we have lost a game we should have won and that's where we have hope and regrets.

"It's hope because we know we have the potential to do very well and regrets because in this game we know we did not get the result we could have got."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 6 Jan 2012